Excellence in Out-of-School Time Programs: Engage Every Student Recognition Opportunity

March 14, 2024

Engage Every Studen

Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) offers vital funding to support students' academic and emotional needs. Out-of-school time (OST) programs, such as afterschool and summer learning initiatives, are crucial in this effort.

To honor exceptional programs, the U.S. Department of Education and partner organizations have launched the Engage Every Student Recognition Program. This initiative celebrates non-profits and municipalities collaborating with school districts, delivering high-quality OST programs that address COVID-19 impacts.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the Engage Every Student Recognition Program, a non-profit organization working in collaboration with school district/local education agencies (LEAs) or municipality or local government working in collaboration with school district/local education agencies (LEAs) entity must:

  • Be an afterschool and/or summer learning program that has increased, from its total enrollment in SY22-23, the enrollment number of K-12 students during the 2023-2024 school year by 20%.

  • Serve a group of students that attend elementary, middle or high schools, which must include at least a portion of students that attend schools with 40% or more students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic school year.

  • Provide high-quality afterschool or summer learning programming with a physical location in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, or Tribal Nations schools.

  • Leverage American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER Funds and other state and local funds to expand access to afterschool and summer learning programs for students.

  • Employ evidence-based approaches, including but not limited to:

  • Target students needing additional support (including using information provided by diagnostic assessments);

  • Have certified teachers delivering the academic instruction and tutoring; and

  • Engage students in using experiential learning that could include project-based learning, enrichment, career pathways, and field trips.

Join us in celebrating the impact of OST programs and recognizing excellence in student support!

Applications Due: April 10, 2024


Making the Most of Your Summer Fun(ds)

Do you want tips and tricks on how to leverage ARP dollars to boost your summer and OST programming? Visit this blog series by AASA President Gladys Cruz that draws from evidence-based practices culled from RAND research commissioned by The Wallace Foundation